IFF: A Tour Worth Taking

Greetings from de island folks,

So DJ’s birthday was Sunday, and I cooked him (as best I could) his mom’s roast and potato salad. I’m sure it wasn’t even close to hers, but he loved it! We are doing an offshore fishing trip next week with some friends for his birthday present, but I surprised him with an impromptu VI Eco Tour this week (and a light-up Frisbee of course ;))! So today’s IFF is all about this incredible light-up Frisbee! JK it’s totally about VI Eco Tours. 

Birthday man & his mickey mouse bag!
  

DJ’s family singing happy birthday via Facetime
 
Here’s the story:

My dear friend Trevor and I met while working for a certain prestigious hotelier on St. Thomas. We met in orientation and worked in the same department for a year. We also escaped left together. Trevs started working at Eco Tours and really talked up their unique tours of the lagoon on St. Thomas. There’s a very unique small island that we can see from our house called Cas Cay (pronounced “kass key”) where we often watch the kayakers out around its unique sand bar. Between Trevor and our desire to finally explore this cay we’ve looked at for over 2 years, it was time for us to take an eco tour!


VI Eco Tours

Virgin Islands Eco Tours offers a whole heap of excursions: from St. Thomas to St. John to Hassel Island, and various cays. DJ and I did the St Thomas Mangrove Lagoon Cas Cay Kayak, Hike & Snorkel 3hr Tour. We went out with another group of 7, so with our guide, there were 10 of us total. It was the perfect group size. Shawn was our guide, and he reminded me so much of my friend Wilson!

Our guide Shawn
Our guide Shawn
Our tour began with kayaking in the lagoon

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Upside down jellyfish in the lagoon
Upside down jellyfish in the lagoon
Then we beached at Cas Cay and did a short hike to the north side of the island

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At the north shore of the island, Shawn showed us some sort of plant (I cannot recall the name of it for the life of me) that allegedly tastes like a salty green bean. Some folks in our tour group tried it along with sampling  some termites from a tree. We, of course, did not, but maybe that’s your kind of thing!

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We could see our house from here!
We then hiked to the south shore of the island stopping to admire the tons of hermit crabs that reside on the western shore of the island.

IMG_1975The hike to the south shore was incredibly beautiful!

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Tree Roots
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IMG_1980But what was at the end was breathtaking!

Volcanic cliffs:

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Tidal pools:

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And a geologic blow hole!

IMG_1983And if that wasn’t enough for you, the final stop on the tour is a snorkel around Cas Cay and the mangroves.

The fish around Cas were noticeable larger in general than the fish we typically see around in-shore reef
A fun bit of science! When blue tang (Dory fish) are babies, they’re actually bright yellow. This was a fully grown blue tang (from what I could see) that was STILL bright yellow! Fascinating!
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Juvenile Beaugregory 
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French Angelfish
And let me just say, the mangrove snorkeling alone would be enough to make me take everyone who visits on this tour!

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Mangroves
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Find the foureye butterflyfish
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You can’t tell from this picture, but that fish was about 3 feet long!
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Coral growth on the mangrove roots
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Egret on the mangroves
On the hike back to the kayaks, we found a group of baby iguanas!

Then it was just a kayak back to the launch where we met up with our buddy Trevs

Me & Trev
Me & Trev

We had such an amazing time exploring truly unique aspects of our home! This is most definitely one of my new favorites to recommend, and I can’t wait to experience the other tours with our future visitors!

Thanks for checking in friends. I hope you’re soaking up a little bit of island beauty and serenity into your life wherever you may be πŸ™‚

Cheers,

Megs

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